- The Washington Times - Friday, July 9, 2021

Many job seekers are not interested in working in the hospitality industry even though U.S. hotels and restaurants are struggling to fill open positions and offering more incentives to attract applicants, a new report found.

Some 60% of job seekers said they would not consider working in a restaurant, bar, hotel or other hospitality industry position, according to a Joblist report released Thursday. Among other reasons, they cited a preference for a different work setting such as an office, the sector’s low pay and lack of benefits, and the lack of schedule flexibility.

Workers with previous hospitality experience seem more willing to accept a position in this industry than the overall average. However, even 38% of these former hospitality employees said they are not even considering returning to the hospitality sector for their next position.

“The pandemic created an opportunity for hospitality workers — many of whom were furloughed or lost their jobs — to reevaluate their employment situation and consider other career options moving forward,” the Joblist report says. “A significant percentage are clearly taking advantage and pursuing higher paying, less physically demanding jobs.”

Restaurants and bars have been upping their pay wages and dangling other incentives to attract workers. Still, over half of former hospitality employees surveyed said pay increases and other incentives would not lure them back to their old jobs.

The report also found that nearly 70% of job seekers who are not interested in hospitality jobs said that no incentives would convince them to take a job at a restaurant, hotel or bar.

“Unfortunately for employers, our survey results indicate that these incentives might not be enough to close the gap,” Joblist says.

For the report, Joblist surveyed more than 30,000 job seekers nationwide over the past three months.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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